BBC Arabic explores Yemeni divorced child-bride story

BBC Arabic television’s weekly investigation programme The Fact Finding Commission (Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq), starts a two-part quest into the story of the Yemeni child-bride, Nojoud.

On Tuesdays, 24 and 31 March 2009, The Fact Finding Commission will investigate the case of the young girl, not even ten years old, forced into marrying a man in his 30s.

Nojoud’s marriage lasted 12 days and nights before she sought refuge in a court of law, asking for divorce from her husband. It was a marriage that fired up the media, women’s rights groups, engaged law-enforcement organisations and divided the public opinion in Yemen.

Is the media frenzy around Nojoud’s story, and all the talk about crime against childhood and humanity, only a reflection of the “western agenda” and western views? Is the child-bride phenomenon a result of ignorance and poverty? Is it an age-old tradition? Or is it a legalised abuse of a child?

The Fact Finding Commission, broadcast on BBC Arabic television and online at, brings a full investigation into the case, with interviews, statistical reports and analysis provided by contributors including secular and Sharia law experts, media analysts and medical experts, human rights activists and other specialists.

Part one of this edition of The Fact Finding Commission is broadcast at 1910 GMT on Tuesday 24 March, repeated at 1310 GMT on Wednesday 25 March.

Part two is broadcast at 1910 GMT on Tuesday 31 March, repeated at 1310 GMT on Wednesday 1 April. As with all BBC Arabic television programmes, The Fact Finding Commission can also be watched online at Fact Finding Commission (Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq) is a panel of independent people who get to the heart of the matter by investigating topical social, political and economic issues.

Leave a Reply